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November 2, 2012

After a few weeks at high altitude we wanted a few days lower down and a bit warmer so we drove down off the Altiplano to Sucre which is the official capital of Bolivia. It is known as the White City, along with what seems like half the other cities in South America.

The traffic as we entered Sucre was terrible but we managed to battle our way to the hotel outside the bus station that we knew had parking for vehicles of our size. When we got there we had a slightly bizarre conversation where we were told that camping was B120 but taking a room was only B100. We ended up taking a room and sleeping in the truck for B100 – go figure !

The centre of Sucre itself is lovely with a beautiful central square with lots of shaded benches to sit relax on. The shade is needed because the day time is really hot.

When we first arrived at the square there was a weird procession taking place with cars decorated with cloth and children’s teddy bears ! This ended in a street near the square where there was some dancing and the cars were being blessed with alcohol.

We arrived on a Saturday and arranged to go on trip to the famous Tarabuco market the next day. This was another occasion where the trip cost was less than round trip diesel cost.

The Tarabuco market was not as interesting as we had hoped. There were lots of people dressed in indigenous clothes but the market itself was not that big and only really took an hour to walk round. However there were some interesting tapestries to buy.

Sucre is famous for its high quality chocolate and we managed to buy a couple of bars of this – having been starved of decent tasting chocolate for ages.

Our visit to Sucre was soured on our last day when Sarah was attacked by a dog in the hotel. She ended up with a huge bruise on her leg in which you could clearly see the imprints of the dogs teeth. Fortunately the dog only just broke the skin (through trousers) and didn’t draw blood.

After a few days we were on our way again but as we were leaving Sucre we visited a large mansion house built in the late 19th century , which is bizarrely situated in a military base. It is called the Castillo de la Glorieta and was built by a wealthy local who was declared a Prince by the Pope to become the only Bolivian royalty ! There is a lot of neglect in the house and grounds but it must have been quite grand in its pomp and it feels very out of place in Bolivia!

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